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What you drank at "Drink"

There's another thread that details the concept and debates the merits of the place and the bartenders. But with no menu, and a coctail selection limited only by the tender's knowledge, I want to know what everyone's ordering.

I was there last night with a friend.

I may have missed an ingredient or two but here's the gist of what we had:

Round one:
Fort point- Rye, vermouth, bitters
Last Word- Gin, Chartreuse, bitters

Round two:
Fernet flip- frenet, simple syrup, whole egg
Coffee Flip- Old Monk Rum, St. Germaine, muddled coffe beans, maraschino, whole egg (possibly the best drink i've ever had)

Round three:
Aaron's (bartender) favorite drink, a french name I can't recall: Rye, Cognac, Benedictine, Angostura bitters, and another type of bitters (they have 14 different kinds of them)

Round four-
beverage created by Aaron- Aperol, gin, St. Germaine, grape fruit bitters, lemon around the rim- a milder and fruitier than a Negroni but along the same parallel.

Round 5:
Negroni- gin, vermouth, campari, flamed orange around the rim

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  1. On my one visit:

    A couple of Hearsts - gin, vermouth, two types of bitters
    Obituary - gin, vermouth, and absinthe

    1. A Last Word is equal parts gin, green chartreuse, lime juice, and Maraschino.

      Your round 3 sounds like a Vieux Carré.

      When we went, Benjamin made us
      - a Fort Point
      - a crazy improvisation when I asked for a Cynar drink - 1 oz Cynar, 1 oz lemon juice, 1/2 oz Fernet, 1/2 oz apricot brandy
      - a Last Word-type drink I can't remember the name of (substitute lemon juice for lime juice and yellow Chartreuse for green Chartreuse)
      - an invention he called the Crustacean, including brandy, pimento dram, and lemon juice.

      All delicious!

      7 Replies
        1. re: dfan

          That Last Word riff may have been a Refined Speech - a bit more gin in it proportionately as well - Misty made me an excellent one.

          I also learned of the Corpse Reviver #2 from Ben at Drink (equal parts Gin, Cointreau, Lilllet blanc, and lemon juice, with a dash or more of absinthe (or Herbsaint) - amazing!

          My other revelation was Xmas week - the Tom and Jerry - warm, highly-spiked, spicy eggnog - wow! I wish they had it more often.

          Have also enjoyed Misty's Bohemian and the coolest Vieux Carre ever with its handmade by Josie iceberg in the glass.

          1. re: rlh

            Additions from recent visit with huge thanks to Josie as always:

            Krakatoa - flaming green chartreuse with gin and Fernet Branca (I think) - dramatic and tasty!

            Toronto - rye-based sort of krakatoa (not flaming)

            Old Monk rum in a Hemingway daiquiri - not so seasonal but delicious

            Old Monk in a 1919 - wow - this was the one to remember from this visit

            Elderflower Sour - light and delicious twist on the Bohemian

            1. re: rlh

              Great night with John as our bartender (a first for me) yesterday:

              Tennessee: bourbon, lemon juice, demerera syrup, and Luxardo maraschino - light and delicious

              Appetizer d'Italienne (??): Fernet Branca, sweet vermouth (two kinds), and demerera - a "very adult" drink for sipping that I really enjoyed

              Toronto: Rittenhouse rye, Old Monk rum, Punt e Mes

              Seelbach: champagne, Cointreau and lots of two kinds of bitters

              Old Monk daiquiri - big crowd pleaser

              Blood and Sand - OJ, scotch, and something red

              Manhattan - classic and perfect in cut glass

              1. re: rlh

                The something red in the blood and sand - it has heering and sweet vermouth

                The toronto is rye, fernet branca, syrup & bitters

                1. re: jgg13

                  Thanks for providing the details on the Blood and Sand - I am pretty sure my Toronto was altered as described (rum added and Punt e Mes instead of FB) with the addition of bitters and I think xanthan gum syrup, actually - it worked..

            2. re: rlh

              A couple of new additions enjoyed last night - crafted by Josie and John:

              Blinker
              Old Pal (rye-based and excellent)
              Menage (Fernet, Cynar, and Green Chartreuse - great after dinner

          2. The last time I was there, I had a Fort Point (I usually dunno what I want, so I seem to toss that out as a starting point), 1919 (I *really* liked it, but I tend to like heavier/sweeter things), Toronto & Ewing #33.

            1. 1794, rye flip, Fort Point, Last Word, Scoff Law, Green Point, Sazerac, Hearst, Ward Eight, Vieux Carre, Corpse Reviver, Hanky-Panky. A couple I didn't scribble down. I've actually tried both of the red wines, too.

              1. I'm glad you started this thread. It's a good way around my no-cocktail-menu pet peeve. I'll use this thread as my menu, and the first thing I'll order is that Coffee Flip. It somehow sounds disgusting and delicious at the same time. I love all those ingredients, but wouldn't think (or be crazy enough) to put them together.

                16 Replies
                1. re: pollystyrene

                  I've only gotten down there once so far (more to come, though). Josie started me off with the Fort Point (seems to be a good starter for a lot of people), when I asked about the Mole bitters, she steered me to the 1919 (also good 'cause I had wanted to try the Old Monk rum in a drink as well), and then wrapped up my intro evening with a classic Vieux Carre.

                  The 1919 was the real standout of the evening with the molasses-y Old Monk mixing nicely with the spice of the Rittenhouse and the herbals of the Benedictine. The chocolately finish from the bitters then came, first as a nice surprise and then as something to be looked forward to after each sip. A real winner that kills me that I can't duplicate it at home yet!

                  I agree that the coffee flip sound tres interesting!

                  1. re: Scortch

                    Fort Point, Riff on a Pegu, Aviator, Jack Benny, Last Word, Something with homemade ginger beer dispensed from a seltzer-water siphon, Negroni, and a 1919 not made by Josie but the young lad wrote down the recipe for me as follows:

                    1919
                    3/4 oz Old Monk Rum
                    3/4 oz Rittenhouse Rye (100 °)
                    1/2 oz Benedictine
                    1 oz Punt e Mes
                    2 Dahes Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel Bitters
                    Stir over ice, strain, garnish w/ orange oil.

                    1. re: T.Clark

                      I recently came across a good writeup (and a good blog in general) on the 1919 here: http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/20...

                      1. re: jgg13

                        I guess most of my drinks are covered then.
                        -Frederic
                        (1/4th of CocktailVirgin)

                      2. re: T.Clark

                        The Whiskey Barrel Aged was used when had it? See, that I can do. I definitely know Josie used the Mole from Bitterman's. I'll give the Whiskey Barrel version a shot tonight!

                        1. re: Scortch

                          I think the orange oil is pretty trick.

                        2. re: T.Clark

                          Spread across two more visits ......Seelbach, Sazerac, Reading Beer, Tom & Jerry, Gin-Gin Mule, Satan's Whiskers.........& the entire small bites menu.

                          1. re: T.Clark

                            Am I the only one thinking that Drink's small bites menu is getting pricier and less interesting with every iteration? I thought the opening menu was clever and delicious, where the current one (the third or fourth I've seen) has about 1/3 as many interesting dishes. I know the focus is on cocktails, but it's nice to have a bite or two if you haven't eaten lately before you move into strong drinks. Maybe the strategy is to encourage people to eat at Sportello?

                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                              I actually said to a friend that was with us "it's like they don't want you to eat".

                              I did't see the very first menu but the last two I found to be expensive for the quantity but the quality was good. The young bar back seems to assemble the food and you can tell he's doing his best. They do pass around warm nuts but I've also noticed most people are not eating at all. I personally can't have cocktails without something to soak up the brown booze. Oh to be young again.

                              The madelines are probably the smallest of offerings but I do like them. The Jamon was good. The shrimp was boring (menu says tomato syrup, it was cocktail sauce). The Gougeres were good but it also said truffled mornay in the description which they said was "injected" but mine must have missed the injection. I really liked the beef tartare. Tater Tots were meh. Duck Drummetts were good but the celery root remoulade didn't work, rather messy to eat as well. I can't remember the rest.

                              In the end I nosh there because I have to but I've come to the conclusion that the food offered really doesn't match up well with cocktails.

                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                You're not the only one re: the menu. I hadn't thought about trying to corral people up to Sportello, but the last time I was there the gf & I considered that perhaps they were actively testing out items for app type fare at the fine dining place.

                                1. re: jgg13

                                  Sportello is pricey, and not everyone's going to love the all-white, futuristic, "diner with no booths, only counter seating" setup (I don't recommend it for parties of more than 3 or 4), but the food is really tasty. I think I've mentioned that bigoli with uni and clams a couple of times, and was miffed when the Improper did a little blurb on it, as I was hoping to do the same for Stuff.

                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    I've yet to go there. The gf works right around the corner and is supposed to be heading there soon w/ a friend of hers who works in the area (outside factors have delayed that). The concept of the high end diner resonates with me though, even if it isn't a place that I could visit with any real frequency (without a large series of economic stimulus checks, that is).

                                    1. re: jgg13

                                      It could be considered a diner in the layout of the space, but not the food. Definitely not the food.

                                2. re: MC Slim JB

                                  I don't want to have to go move to eat when I'm enjoying myself drinking! I want to be able to have just enough food to allow me to keep going. It doesn't need to be fancy, but as I have said before (in a previous thread entitled something like "New menu at Drink"), the food the last time I was there was almost inedible. It makes me sad to say it, but I haven't been back since that second menu. Have they brought the gougeres back? Tater Tots sound promising...

                                  1. re: hsquare2southend

                                    Gougères were on the menu two weeks ago. The menu said mornay sauce so I was thinking mornay to dip them in. No mornay in sight. Bartender said mornay was piped in, didn't detect that either. Not great.

                          2. re: pollystyrene

                            It was like drinking a coffee frappe. I don't remember the actual name of the drink but i'm sure all the bartenders would know what you're talking about if you mention an egg, muddled coffee beans, ect.

                          3. Aviation (w/ and w/o the creme de violette), Toronto, Hearst, Bee's Knees, Last Word, Hanky-Panky, Perroquet ("what a mimosa wishes it were" --Josey), Whiskey Sour variant (w/claret snap), Lawhill, Red Hook.

                            I can't wait to try the Coffee Flip. Thanks for the description, cm&fp. I've always thought that coffee and maraschino would make a great combo, and since I've never had a flip, this sounds like the perfect introduction.

                            1. I've had the Fort Point, Old Fashioned Old Fashioned, Toronto, King and Spadina, Coffee Flip and 1919. My favorite place for cocktails in the city now.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Matt H

                                I'm assuming the King and Spadina is a riff on the Toronto -- what was it like?

                                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                  great name-- a setup for the next variation on that drink, the Queen and Spadina (another intersection in Toronto, as I"m sure you know)

                                  1. re: barleywino

                                    Well, obviously the Queen and Spadina should have an Asian influence, given that it's the heart of Chinatown.

                                  2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                    You are correct it is a variation on the Toronto. I never had a chance to jot down the ingredients in it, but the major difference between that and a regular Toronto is the foam (almond?) at the top. I was back at Drink last night and wanted to find out exactly what was in it, but did not get a chance to ask John G.

                                  3. re: Matt H

                                    according to John G, Drink does not and never has offered the King and Spadina, although it has been available at 9 Park in the past....

                                    1. re: barleywino

                                      That is strange. A friend of mine I was with the day it was ordered (who was pretty regular at No.9) was the one who recommended I order it. The bartender (the taller guy with the beard) mixed something for me after it was ordered and my friend did not seem to think it was any different from what he had at No.9....possibly he mixed something close to a K&S? Not sure, but it was pretty good from what I remember.

                                      1. re: Matt H

                                        maybe you have to give the secret Canadian handshake or password (poutine? eh?) to have them make it for you...

                                  4. This past Saturday tried the Studebaker - rye, molasses, Lillet?, two kinds of bitters - okay, I don't recall the exact ingredients, but it's something that Misty created for a contest. It's a little on the thick side, but really good. Also had the Boss - very simple, but declious - Old Fitzgerald Bonded Bourbon and amaretto.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: bostonbroad

                                      Yeah, the Boss is boss. The Luxardo Amaretto is a superior product - all the good flavor, but not the overwhelming sweetness of some lesser brands. I think the ratio is 4:1 Bourbon:Amaretto.

                                      1. re: DoubleMan

                                        I love a Godfather that substitues the Bourbon for Scotch. Never had the Bourbon Boss version though. It's on my list.

                                    2. Last night, the Krakatoa... 1/4 oz. Green Chartreuse poured into a cocktail glass and SET ON FIRE! Orange peel squeezed over class and dropped in. 2. oz Batavia Arrack, .5 oz. Fernet Branca, and .5 oz Demarera simple syrup stirred over ice and strained into glass, extinguishing flame.

                                      12 Replies
                                      1. re: craigasaurus

                                        i had that last week. my God! what a lot of flavor going on in that glass.

                                        1. re: ScubaSteve

                                          I saw that on cocktailvirgin, but sometimes I'm afraid to order the drinks that those folks post about as they often seem like custom concoctions from the specific bartenders. Is this something that they all know how to make over there, or is it specific to particular folks there?

                                          1. re: jgg13

                                            gee, i really don't know. i just asked for a reco based on my previous consumption at Drink.
                                            it was like i said, a Lot of flavor, with almost a Dr. Pepper aftertaste but in the best possible way.

                                            1. re: ScubaSteve

                                              Who was it that made it for you? I've run into trouble once or twice before naming something that I had from one person that another didn't know and me not really knowing exactly what was in it (just that i liked it) so I try to shy away from those things :)

                                              I definitely wanted to give it a try though, it sounded interesting. Here's the link I was referring to earlier btw:
                                              http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/20...

                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                i don't remember his name but it was the thin bartender with the dark-ish beard. he's usually at the middle station when i go.

                                                1. re: ScubaSteve

                                                  Mine was prepared by Sam (used to have a moustache, now seems to be growing a beard). I asked for a drink w/ Batavia Arrack because I've been curious to try it, and he suggested the Krakatoa. It was a slow night and I think he was bored (he was making a sculpture from the ice block) and probably thought setting something on fire would be fun... The Coctailvirgin post said that John invented it.

                                                  Anyway, I think the staff shares ideas, so anyone can probably fix you anything. They might add their own twist, but for some drinks they have pretty set standard ratios.

                                                  1. re: craigasaurus

                                                    I've watched Ben make a couple of spectacular flaming drinks, like the Green Blazer, which I think is essentially a toddy of Green Chartreuse, tossed flaming between two big pewter mugs. Really something to see, brings the whole section to a halt.

                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                      saw that the other day on my way out and was wondering what it was called. Thanks!

                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                        I once saw Josey making a blue blazer, and yeah - everyone around the bar stopped what they were doing to watch her. Misty was there wearing a customer hat and was cheering her on as she left ("You got it girl!"). Something right out of that old picture of Jerry Thomas ... impressive.

                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                          Green Blazer is nothing more than Green Chartreuse, citrus peel, and a flame.

                                                        2. re: craigasaurus

                                                          "I think the staff shares ideas, so anyone can probably fix you anything. They might add their own twist, but for some drinks they have pretty set standard ratios."

                                                          Yeah. The only time I really feel sheepish is when I don't remember enough about the ingredients (either from forgetfulness, not originally knowing or being fuzzed out from the previous drinks) to really state well enough what it was. I've been able to roughly describe things and get their own similar creation, sometimes better and sometimes worse.

                                                          1. re: craigasaurus

                                                            Frederic from CocktailVirgin here. They tend to use the proverbial royal I a lot when they all had a hand in perfecting it. I know with the Farley Mowat (link below) that both John and Ben take credit for it (and when asked, they'll describe which aspect they contributed to).

                                                            http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/20...

                                              2. I went last night for the first time and had the following observations.
                                                1) It was bigger then I imagined and the decor is simple but elegant.
                                                2) I was surprized at how quite it was at 11:00 P.M.
                                                3) I was surprized at how many people were drinking beer.
                                                4) Prices have already gone up from $8 to $10 per drink?
                                                Even though I am a wine drinker, I enjoyed my dacquiri.

                                                12 Replies
                                                1. re: csammy

                                                  I believe it was always $10/drink. I know it was that way on my first visit about a month after they opened.

                                                    1. re: ScubaSteve

                                                      That is correct - always $10.

                                                      Some drinks are $15, including ones with mezcal.

                                                      1. re: DoubleMan

                                                        mezcal, really? that's one liquor i've yet to explore there, can you make any recommendations?

                                                        1. re: ScubaSteve

                                                          Josey made me a Oaxaca old-fashioned - mezcal, tequila, agave nectar and bitters. If you don't really enjoy tequila flavor, you'll hate this drink.

                                                          I am sure the crew at Drink has many other recipes up their sleeves.

                                                          1. re: DoubleMan

                                                            ahhhh, Very Nice.
                                                            i think i'll give something tequila-y tomorrow.

                                                          2. re: ScubaSteve

                                                            scuba steve... the del maguey mezcals are available at a few places around town. try toro. they have the tobala and crema. awesome stuff. they are an interesting base or additive to a cocktail but i think best enjoyed neat.

                                                            there a few single village, a tobala (a higher end moutain variety of agave plant which only the heart is used) and a crema. all hand made mezcal and aguably the most expressive and interesting clear spirit.

                                                          3. re: DoubleMan

                                                            went yesterday and asked about the Mezcal. had an AirBag and one other that i can't remember, both very Good but more smokey than tequila-y.

                                                        2. re: csammy

                                                          We went Friday night and had a couple stunning cocktails made by Ben - one with Cognac, ginger demerara syrup, sparkling wine and a twist of lime - and a second courtesy of Don Lee from PDT named the DLB (Don's Little Bitter). Peychauds, Angostura (orange and regular), lemon, SS, Fernet, and Barbancourt 8. Yum.

                                                          Topping it off was a Folia Noche - calvados, walnut liquer, and fee's whiskey bitters. Also delicious.

                                                          1. re: natecsd

                                                            i think you were sitting next to me.

                                                            1. re: ScubaSteve

                                                              I think you're right - that Mezcal-based drink Ben made you looked pretty darn good.

                                                        3. Last Sunday night I had a pretty standard Fort Point and Seelbach. But Misty told us we should come back in or after the snowstorm on Monday, because they do special hot drinks on such occasions - usually the Tom & Jerry eggnog. Went back on Monday night and they didn't have the Tom & Jerry, but they did have a Feuerzangenbowle, which is a spectacular, powerful, and absolutely delicious flaming wine punch. Brilliant.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Ready2Go

                                                            They must have gotten burned out on making the Tom & Jerry batter since they had it every time we were at Drink and it was snowy up until early February or so. They'll still do warm drinks on request such as toddies (I know Misty has a few combinations that are rather good).

                                                          2. Here is a list of the drinks that were ordered:

                                                            Hot Toddy - I've had better, but I was sick, so it made up for it.
                                                            Vieux Carre
                                                            Hearst
                                                            Seelbach
                                                            Old Overholt
                                                            Bee's Knees
                                                            Blood and Sand
                                                            Pegu Club
                                                            The Prosecutor

                                                            Don't know exactly what the ingredients were, but they were all yummy!

                                                            Kristina Y.
                                                            www.thevitullos.blogspot.com

                                                            1. i was just introduced to The Silent Order. lots of fresh basil. just Spring yumminess in a glass.
                                                              i thought it would pair well with ceviche and Ben said that was a typical pairing from his No 9 days.

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: ScubaSteve

                                                                So, do you just gesture to get one? Or is Benedictine a key ingredient?

                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                  ha!
                                                                  not Benedictine, Chartruese. which Ben said has some kind of monastic tie.

                                                                    1. re: jgg13

                                                                      The Benedictine monks are also big on silence, but I believe it's not quite the commitment it is to the Carthusians.

                                                                      Regardless, it's nice to see Chartreuse and Benedictine making a big comeback in cocktails. I've had a bottle of Green Chartreuse on my bar for years and didn't have many good ideas on how to use it, and now I have lots.

                                                                      And there are more varieties of Chartreuse than I ever knew about before: I finally saw some of the really fancy stuff (VEP in green and yellow, over $100/bottle) at Marty's in Allston just before it closed. (When I use up the ordinary Green, maybe I'll spring for one of those.)

                                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                        I'm in the process of reading "Brew Like a Monk" (which focuses on the brewing practices of the Trappist monks as well as abbey-style breweries). Early on in there, one of the monks noted that the whole silence thing has been pretty overblown in that they were more than welcome to communicate as necessary, they were just supposed to be quiet/silent in order to not disturb other people's meditation - I'm not sure if that was Trappist-specific or not though.

                                                                        I've got a bottle of yellow which seems to go pretty slowly, although Benedictine goes a lot more quickly in my apartment. It didn't help that I'd long been a fan of B&B before I started tripping over better options (including making my own B&B with non-crap brandy) and now it gets used pretty heavily.

                                                                        As far as chartreuse goes, I can never decide which I prefer between the yellow or the green. Clearly when I bought the yellow I was thinking it was that one :) Considering they're already up around $60/bottle, if the more expensive stuff provides a noticeable step up it doesn't seem like a huge jump.

                                                                        1. re: jgg13

                                                                          We have a bottle of the VEP Green at home (wedding gift), and it is great, definitely more complex than the regular. We only drink it straight - I think its special qualities would probably get lost in a cocktail - so I wouldn't bother acquiring it if you only intended to mix with it.

                                                              2. With all these cocktails being made with odd elixirs, in wiki-ing, I found one I have not seen mentioned - Unicum - a Hungarian apertif - anyone come across its use at Drink or elsewhere?

                                                                Are there any other weird or unique bitters or liquors not previously mentioned on the thread here being used at Drink or elsewhere in the area?

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                  zwack unicum is around at a lot of bars (including many non-obvious ones) but my understanding is that it's not the same as the one over there.

                                                                  1. re: jgg13

                                                                    According to the wiki, there are two kinds - unicum and zwack unicum, the latter being the sweeter of the two.

                                                                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                      Ah, god to know. Yeah, I've been seeing zwack unicum showing up in more and more bars (both around here and in toher places) and my day-to-day hangout bars aren't exactly high end. In more than one case I've had it handed to me for free by bartenders who have no idea what it is but were just given the bottle by distributors for free, and are trying to get people who like it enough to pay for it :)

                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                        I found the Zwack at the Blanchard's in JP, and have been enjoying it neat as a nightcap.

                                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                          An update: the stuff I have turns out to be Zwack Liqueur, an 80-proof bitters that is sweeter and fruitier than Zwack Unicum. Apparently it's sold in Hungary as Zwack Next. Zwack Unicum is stronger and much more bitter (and not retailed in MA as far as I can tell.)

                                                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                            I've been buying the little round nips of this the last couple of weeks. Can't figure out if I like it or not but might be somethign good to keep around for after dinner. It's not very bitter but it's pleasant.

                                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                              Yesterday, Bina was carrying the Zwack Liqueur. Pretty sure it was the Unicom that I saw last year.

                                                                              I bought a bottle of the Unicom at Cirace's last year. I'll stop in and see if they still carry it.

                                                                              1. re: 9lives

                                                                                Cirace's is no longer carrying the Unicom..just the liqueur; something about their distributor switching from the Unicom to the liqueur.

                                                                  2. Do they take reservations? We'll be in this area on Sat evening and I've been dying to go here for months, but I fear that it will be hellishly crowded on Marathon weekend.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Kat

                                                                      They don't take reservations, and I would recommend staying away on weekend nights anyway. It's a very different scene, mobbed with people who don't seem to understand what the place is about. If there's any way you can go on a quieter weeknight after the post-work crowd has cleared out, that's about a thousand times better. I'm glad they're drawing crowds on Friday and Saturday, but it's kind of hellish there then.

                                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                        Thank you...that is exactly what I feared. Another time, then. Is there anywhere else to go in the neighborhood? We'll be at Persephone for a late dinner, but I was hoping to walk somewhere different for a drink first.

                                                                        1. re: Kat

                                                                          Drink might still be doable if you're there early enough; I plan to shun it after 7pm or so on weekends from now on. Persephone has very good bartending; you could do a lot worse. Walkable nearby bars include Lucky's (across the street from Drink), which is okay, attracting a rowdier, more casual crowd, the upscale (but hideous) RumBar at the Inter-Continental Hotel, the too-swank but decent bar at Radius, and the posh hideaway that is the Rowes Wharf bar at the Boston Harbor Hotel, a secret handshake of a place I really like.

                                                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                            Thanks! We'll try Drink at 6:30, but if it is impossible then Plan B it to Radius. I like the idea of the secret hotel bar, may have to sniff that out.

                                                                            1. re: Kat

                                                                              Quite surprisingly, Drink was not at all crowded last night (Saturday) around 8:30 p.m., when we finally arrived there for a pre-dinner drink after a hellishly slow drive from Boylston St. We found 2 seats at the bar right away and enjoyed a Last Call for me and a variation on a gimlet with gin for spouse. Gougeres were very good, but the prosciutto plate was just OK. Very long pieces, hard to eat without being able to cut them and plain chunks of raw cauliflower just plopped on the plate. Dinner at Persephone was great; would return to Drink again for cocktails.

                                                                            2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                              Too late for marathon weekend, but the (only) thing I like about RumBar is that you can take your drinks (in our case, usually a bottle of wine) out to the back patio. It's perfect for a lazy sunny afternoon.

                                                                      2. Last Word and a couple of slight variations on a Monkey Gland gin, grenadine, absinthe, and grapefruit (in place of orange) juice quite delicious!

                                                                        1. Article in today's Weekend Journal on the not-soon-enough decline in vodka's appeals:

                                                                          http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12400...

                                                                          It mentions Jackson of Eastern Standard and Misty of Drink, and includes an interesting mezcal-based recipe from Misty. Impressive for Boston to merit so many mentions in the NY-focused WSJ; from B Side to ESK to Drink, we really are running full speed with the cocktail revival.

                                                                          1. I finally got to Drink and I hated it. The bartender, Ben, was bitchy from the get-go -- telling us we'd chosen a dumb place for our group (it seemed to work out just fine for the 8 of us) and then basically refusing to play "riddle me this", which is half the fun of a place like this. Here's how it normally goes ... you say "I'd like something limey, maybe minty, not with Gin, what can you recommend?" And then a non-PMSy bartender might say "Oh, how about an xxxx?" And then you say "That sounds great, thanks!" Instead, Ben said something to the effect of he couldn't make me a drink if I didn't know what I wanted. His vibe had nothing fun or playful to it and the place wasn't particularly busy on Friday night. Feeling chided, I sat there wondering how I could escape quickly, and when asked if I like lavender I meekly said sure. The resulting drink was fine but the whole experience bordered on hostile so that I just wanted to get out of there. Walking to the T afterwords I put a bright spin on it ... Drink is a pain for me to get to, the crowd isn't douchey but this bartender is, and there are a good handful of other places in town where they actually seem to want to make the customer happy. Feh! Y'all can keep Drink.

                                                                            15 Replies
                                                                            1. re: yumyum

                                                                              try Misty's station (the one on the far left), she is usually pretty cheerful and helpful, Ben is more taciturn although is friendly once you get to know him/vice versa

                                                                              1. re: yumyum

                                                                                wow!
                                                                                Ben is my favorite.
                                                                                i'm sorry you didn't enjoy yourself, but Drink is going to be in my weekly rotation for quite some time.

                                                                                1. re: ScubaSteve

                                                                                  Yeah -- lots of people seem to like him. I was apparently unworthy of the gracious barkeeping the rest of you are treated to. To each his own!

                                                                                  ETA: I really didn't have this chip on my shoulder as I walked into the bar. Ben put it there.

                                                                                2. re: yumyum

                                                                                  Wow, big bummer. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. There's enough other good places doing the high-craft cocktail thing to not need to put up with that.

                                                                                  My own experiences at Drink have been much, much better, but I wouldn't blame you for not going back after that.

                                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                    I have yet to make it to Drink, waiting for a time where I can be almost assured of getting an actual seat at one of the stations to fully experience the designed interaction. So I have no personal opinion on yumyum's experience.

                                                                                    But I am struck by the lack of defense of this particular bartender. Either people have given up on this particular thread or (I'm guessing) there might be some truth in this person's experience. I say this solely based on the fact that the overwhelming majority of posts regarding the interaction with staff (especially in terms of cocktails) has been previously positive.

                                                                                    Yumyum's was the first to stick out to me in terms of it's negative nature. And the reaction was quite muted.

                                                                                    Asking in all seriousness (should I look for certain staff when I eventually go?), are not all Drink bartenders created equal?

                                                                                    1. re: Canadian Tuxedo

                                                                                      they open at 4pm daily iirc so if you go early you can usually have your choice of seats. try Misty's station (far left), or John G's station (far right) if you are lucky enough to find him working there

                                                                                      1. re: barleywino

                                                                                        I also really enjoyed Josie who was also on the far left the first time I went.

                                                                                        www.thevitullos.blogspot.com

                                                                                        1. re: barleywino

                                                                                          i'm usually there twice weekly and i gotta say that the bartenders move around the three stations pretty regularly. and i've been sitting with Sam and asked for Misty to make me something out of her kit and was obliged without a fuss.

                                                                                        2. re: Canadian Tuxedo

                                                                                          Going when it's not packed is an excellent strategy. When they're fighting off mobs, the staff just can't take the time to engage with individual customers in the way that makes the place uniquely useful and fun.

                                                                                          I think every bartender there offers a different and worthy spin on the experience. I think I've been served by most of them -- they do move between stations, don't have a fixed location from night to night -- and none of them, including Ben, has been less than excellent in my book.

                                                                                          But I don't blame yumyum for wanting to give the place an eff-you after a bad experience like that. Too bad for Drink, but it's a good example of how important the hospitality aspect of tending bar is: all the technical chops in the world don't mean anything to a customer if you're a dick to them.

                                                                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                          1. re: Canadian Tuxedo

                                                                                            There is probably some truth in this person's experience. Hell, I've seen even my favorite bartenders have bad days, be snippy, not want to be creative, or other. Many of them work four 14 hour days in a row (at Drink they get there at 2pm or earlier to prep and don't leave until the cleanup is done around 3 or 4am) and can get tired and grumpy at times just like you at your respective jobs.

                                                                                            I have been to Drink when its empty and had the luxury of having long conversations with the bartender about cocktails and gotten spoiled with amazing cocktails (time consuming and ingredient rich). And I have been there when it was 2 deep (haven't seen it at 4+ deep though) -- the interactions change to simple requests and nothing out of the ordinary mixology-wise. At those times, stating a base spirit and perhaps another ingredient can trigger them into remembering a recipe that works. Other times, knowing what you want to drink by name helps (although I have seen them turn down requests for Long Island Ice Teas and the like).

                                                                                            Not sure exactly what happened in this instance and I am sure that it is not the only time it has happened, but serving craft cocktails when there is a major backlog on the orders can get stressful. If you want a great Drink experience, go early or on off days like Sundays. If you go prime time on Thurs-Sat, don't expect the same service as 10pm on a Sunday night or 4pm on a Saturday.

                                                                                            1. re: yarm

                                                                                              I can tell you that there is more than "some truth" to the story. It's what actually happened. I know because I was sitting next to YY.

                                                                                              The bartender was incredibly rude to YY as she described.

                                                                                              He was also not particularly busy or backed up; and quickly took my order without incident.. then came back to YY with the lavendar suggestion. I enjoyed my drink as much as I could; given how he'd just treated YY...expertly made Old Fashion with a story about rye vs bourbon.

                                                                                              We arrived as 2 groups of 4..and the second group are regulars at Drink/#9 Park and were all treated fine.. and had a great time.

                                                                                              No one likes to hear something negative about a place they like but that's what happened.

                                                                                              I can't speculate as to why Ben treated YY as he did; but I know what he said..and what I heard and saw.

                                                                                            2. re: Canadian Tuxedo

                                                                                              That particular bartender (Ben) was great when we went.

                                                                                          2. re: yumyum

                                                                                            Yumyum, that sucks! How could he expect anyone to know what they wanted if they don't even offer a menu? It's reputed as a craft cocktail bar, so either there has to be an extensive, creative menu, or they've got to craft something to your liking. After he said that, did you order something, or did he ask you immediately about the lavender? Did he greet you with, "Hi, this is a dumb place for you to come." If so, are you sure he was serious? Did he say why it was dumb? Maybe since the approach is supposed to be personalized, he felt it would be impossible to do justice to eight people all at once, but he could have said so nicely.

                                                                                            I've only encountered Benjamin when he was at No.9, and he was generous and delightful in a low-key, offbeat way. He must have been having a really off day.

                                                                                            1. re: yumyum

                                                                                              Have you seen "Ben" and the Lupita lady in the same place at the same time? Hmm....

                                                                                              I thought the whole point of the place was to let the bartender intuit your drink. That sucks.

                                                                                              On the other hand, Yum, closer to your 'hood, I think, we were at the Independent on Thursday - don't know the bartender but I basically said, I like bourbon and surprise me and got a manhattan made with benedictine and punt e mes that was perfect!

                                                                                              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                Highland Kitchen, Green Street and Gargoyles are all within stumbling distance of me so I'll head there when I want a good cocktail. I have been encouraged to visit Tom at the bar at Craigie, too, and will do so asap!

                                                                                                "I like bourbon and surprise me" is exactly what I was looking for at Drink. Just didn't happen for me.

                                                                                            2. Just hit up Drink for our second time this past Thursday around 10:00 or so. Though there weren't a ton of seats at the bars, it was surprisingly uncrowded for a Thursday night, which was great for our group of about 10. We were quite impressed the last time we went. This time we got a round of champagne to celebrate our friends' engagement, an "original martini", made with gin, sweet vermouth and orange bitters, as well as an "Old Monk Daiquiri", Old Monk Rum from India mixed with fresh lime juice. Drink remains on our list of fun bars to frequent and seemed to be a big hit amongst our friends. Cheers!

                                                                                              www.thevitullos.blogspot.com

                                                                                              1. the drink i stumped the bartenders with at drink: a buccaneer. gin, campari, pineapple, and falernum. ironically, since i'd only read about it and never tried, it didn't taste all that good. my theory is the interaction between the campari and pineapple was less than fortuitous. i think i ordered from ben, but i can't be sure. it was from the station furtherest to the right. never managed to order a drink from misty or josie - the next goal!

                                                                                                on a service-related note, john g. was great about refunding my money when drink overcharged me by $40 on an errant tab. don't know where else to share this, but he was extremely courteous and understanding about the whole matter!

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: amidli

                                                                                                  Was the overcharge something you caught before you left, or something you noticed later on your credit-card bill?

                                                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                2. My last visit I had Scott:

                                                                                                  Negroni: Gin, sweet vermouth, Campari

                                                                                                  Gin Gin Mule: gin, ginger beer, lime juice, simple syrup, muddled mint, in a collins

                                                                                                  Maximilian Affair: mezcal, St-Germain, sweet vermouth, lemon juice

                                                                                                  All fantastic, particularly the Maximilian.